Expat Insider Survey

  • Did the Presidency Win the War Against Boko Haram?

    President Buhari said his Government has succeeded in winning the war against Boko Haram terrorists.

    Evidence from local news platforms and international rankings say otherwise. Reports from 2017 till date tell a sordid tale regarding insurgency in Nigeria. 

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    Last week Thursday, President Buhari claimed his administration restored Nigeria’s pride and honour. He said this during the commissioning of three attack helicopters at Eagle square. The “restoration…” was premised on the President fulfilling his promise to end the Boko Haram insurgency. Platforms such as  Premium Times, The Nation, News Nigeria have published this report.

    “You will agree with me that the successes we have achieved so far have restored our pride and honour in the world over”

    President Buhari

    Likewise, the President’s spokesman in an interview with channels television also commented on the reduction in insecurity. He based his assertion on a 2015 comparison. He further stated that Nigerians should be grateful for it.

    Is this the case?

    In 2015, President Buhari appointed these service chiefs after his first successful election. Under military regulations, their terms of service expired in 2017.

    Premium Times reported how members of the Nigerian House of Representatives, called for the removal of service chiefs. This call was made in a bid to find a solution to the uprising of insecurity in the country,

    A call for the removal deemed necessary to them to subdue the security/insecurities threat posed at the country.

    Insecurity on the rise despite the president’s claims

    Insecurity since President Buhari’s inauguration has not gotten better as claimed… it’s been on the rise. Several reports have revealed that the attacks have not subsided.

    In 2018, we recall when Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe state. Then, the terrorists released some of the girls after weeks after negotiation with the federal government. Still, five girls died in captivity according to reports. Also, one girl remained in their custody.

    That same year, reports stated how the sect kidnapped aid workers with the International Committee of Red Cross. Not to mention, the melee attack the group orchestrated that claimed the lives of 70 soldiers.

    Last year, Boko Haram killed 11  people in the suburb area of Maiduguri. The group followed that attack, with a mass slaughter at a funeral procession in Maiduguri, leaving 60 dead.

    Still in the year 2019, Boko Haram ambushed a military base, killing 20 officers and one army commander.

    As at September 2019, a report by CNN gives the total number of missing Nigerians since Boko Haram started as 22,000.

    Still, this year, January, there are still reports of homicide from the sect. The group reportedly killed a 22-year old student in Plateau and beheaded a clergy in Adamawa who refused Islamic conversion. Matter of fact, the documented report of people who lost their lives to violence in Nigeria, this year, is a total of  245, amidst other reports.

    International Rankings

    The World Economic Forum released its ranking of the most dangerous countries to live in based on safety and security through a report published by the Independent UK  in 2017. Nigeria ranked number five on this list.

    Agnes Callamard, U.N special rapporteur on extrajudicial in a press conference gave her findings in Nigeria.  She says that Nigerian insecurity requires urgent attention.

    She referred to Nigeria as a “pressure cooker of internal conflict”, saying the situation is one of utmost concern, which if not tackled can affect other African nations.

    “the police and military had shown an excessive use of lethal force across the West African country which, combined with a lack of effective investigations and meaningful prosecution, caused a lack of accountability”

    Agnes Callamard

    To put things into perspective, Nigeria is amongst the most dangerous places to live. This is per Human rights watch’s, Expat insider survey of 2019. 

  • Is Nigeria One of the Freest Countries for the Press and Media?

    The minister of information claimed that Nigeria is one of the freest countries in the world to live in.

    Nigeria is not one of the “freest” countries to live in with respect to the press, the media or general welfare. Key metrics as of 2019 place it as the third most dangerous country, with a Corruption Perception Index of 140 among 180 countries. More so, media reports speak to the contrary concerning press freedom. 

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    On Monday, Daily post attributed this statement to the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed… “Nigeria is the freest country in the world.” A similar report was also published by Pulse

    News reports say he uttered the statement when he received the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria- Dr Jyrki Pulkkinen- and the Ambassador of Innovation of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Finland, Mr Jarmo Sareva. Both men were on an advocacy visit to promote the ideals of the Freedom Online Coalition. 


    In a Fact-check done by ICIR on this post, having obtained a complete recording of the minister’s speech, stated the minister mentioned safety only concerning the media and the press. 

    Also, he did not say Nigeria is the freest country to live in. Rather, he said Nigeria is ONE of the freest countries to live in the world.

    “We are not talking about security, we are talking about press freedom. It is a discussion about the government not going out of its way to gag the press. Let the country have a free press; isn’t that the expression we use?”

    Mr Lai Mohammed – ICIR excerpt

    Press Freedom?

    Findings show that the Nigerian civic space has continued to shrink. The 2019 World Press Freedom Index, ranked Nigeria 120 on a list of 180 countries. In the same vein, Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism’s, Press Attack tracker which monitors attacks on journalists tells a similar tale. 

    This tracker reveals that over 100 incidences of journalists attacks in the year 2019 alone; the highest recorded so far. Instances such as the still-incarcerated Nigerian journalist, Aba Jalingo exist. The arrest made last year, August 22nd, involved a report alleging that Cross River governor, Ben Ayade, diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

    Sanitize the media

    Meanwhile, the minister in his speech referred “sanitising” the media, citing the tragedy in Rwanda. Still, the social media bill introduced in this vein has not only left many with mixed reactions but many question its legitimacy and true intent. However, the minister of information denied the existence of said bill recently. 

    Safety in and out of context

    Nigeria, in actuality, is neither the safest places to live nor is it one of the freest countries for journalistic endeavours. Most reports, rather speak to the contrary. Instances of insecurity and corruption make the minister’s claim hard to believe. Transparency International’s corruption perception index ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 counties in the world with a score of 26/100. 

    Further, in 2019, the Expat Insider Survey rated Nigeria as the third most dangerous country in the world. This is due to widespread corruption and insecurity…. factors that contribute to the sustained increase of terrorist activities, poverty, religious unrest, insurgency, and kidnappings amongst others. 

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